[CentOS] backup question

James B. Byrne byrnejb at harte-lyne.ca
Tue Jun 24 15:19:55 UTC 2008

on: Sun Jun 22 08:00:34 UTC 2008, Gergely Buday gbuday at gmail.com wrote:

> Dear CentOs users,
> I have a centos server with nothing important at the moment, but I
> would like to install some web-based project management tool (trac for
> the curious) that would contain important data. And, as my network is
> growing the configuration of the server is becoming complex. I would
> like to have a proper backup so that I can restore the whole system
> easily, should any problem occur. What do you recommend?
> I'm not an expert on this, so my first idea is that I could do a per
> application backup and create a tar file of the /etc. The latter
> especially could be too naive. And, a push-the-button method that
> handles all in once, not depending on the app number would be much
> better.
> Another thing: how I could do this to be safe across a centos upgrade?

I have recently moved from Trac to Redmine for project management (and I
strongly recommend that you consider this as an alternative to Trac, it is
far more powerful to use and much easier to set up) but I had/have exactly
the same problems that you are facing.  The difficulty is that Trac has a
DBMS backend, usually MySQl but in my case PostgreSQl.  This complicates
the issue since it is not enough to simply tar up the application site.

What I ended up doing was building a hot site spare server to accommodate
all of these types of applications (Trac project management, subversion
repositories, drupal user cms sites, imapd user mailboxes, avantfax fax
archives).  Then, for applications that employed a database backend, I
setup regular cron jobs to dump the backend databases into a ./dbdump
directory that I added to the root of each site's file system. I added an
rsync command to the end of the dump command to then move the entire site
to the backup box at the end of the dump.  On the backup machine I added a
cron job to reload the database from the dump.

This entails some background work to set up.  You must initialize and
configure the appropriate DBMS on the backup server with the requisite
databases and database owners. You must ensure that the application's
users and groups are properly replicated there. You may need to install
and configure the application itself. You may need to configure apache if
the application uses a web frontend, like Trac. You need to setup SSL host
to host root authentication for rsync. And there are no doubt several
other little things that need to be accommodated but that I no doubt have

However, what this gives you is a hot site backup that a simple change to
DNS can enable.

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